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Planting trees and shrubs is not as hard as many people think.  A common misnomer is that you have to dig a deep hole. That is not always the case.  Just following some simple procedures can insure a successful planting.  Choose a location with adequate light for the type of tree or shrub you are planting.  Leave enough growth room to accommodate the full growth of its potential.  It is important that the placement of the tree or shrub is cohesive with the water needs of the species of tree you are planting. The root systems and spread of most shrubs are fine next to a foundation. 

For small tress, a 5-20 space between the planting hole and the foundation should be maintained.  For larger shade trees, more space is ideal.  Some trees with shallow invasive root systems such as silver maples and weeping willows should be planted far away from utilities or an underground septic, as the roots may spread up to 4 times the spread of the canopy.   Another thing to consider may be if a walnut is in the area, as walnut trees produce a natural herbicide that slowly kills susceptible plants (See other handout for susceptible plants).  A minimum 50 foot planting distance from the trees canopy is recommended for susceptible plantings.

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Mays Greenhouse 2010